A week of 100 dead bugs a day startled me

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For a week, I collected 100 dead bugs each day and was astonished by the findings.

(Image credit: Getty/mihailomilovanovic)

I’m no stranger to a good exercise challenge in my role as a health and fitness writer. From a seven-day ab challenge to a squat challenge (no, you shouldn’t do that either), I’ve tried a variety of exercises throughout the years with mixed results.

My search for the finest ab workouts has led me to experiment with new routines, such as completing 30 sit-ups a day for thirty days, and this month adding 100 dead bugs to my workouts for seven days to see what works best for my abs and core. Discover what happened by continuing to read.

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I’ll begin by teaching you how to perform a dead bug, which is regarded to be one of the greatest abdominal workouts. The transverse abdominis – the deepest core muscles — are also targeted by a dead bug if it is done properly. The internal and external obliques and rectus abdominis are also targeted. Dead bugs also target the spinal erectors, which maintain the spine and support the lower back, since it is a stability exercise.

The first step is to lay on the ground with your arms straight above you and your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. Lengthen the left leg and bring it up to a level that is only a few of inches above the floor while slowly lowering the right arm behind your back. Take a breath, then go back to where you started and do it again on the other side. For the whole exercise, maintain your lower back in contact with the mat by squeezing your belly button into your spine and keeping your lower back pushed against the mat.

For a week, I killed 100 bugs a day, and here’s what occurred.

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If you’re a newbie or fresh to the practise, I’d advise against killing 100 bugs a day. When starting a new workout regimen, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor or a personal trainer for advice. In addition to running four times a week, which totals around 20 miles, I also do three strength training sessions with weights and Pilates.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

When I woke up on the first day of the challenge, I wondered aloud why I’d chosen 100 as my goal; it seemed excessive. The full set of 20 dead bugs took me around five minutes to complete, with 30-second rests between each set. When I woke up the next morning, I could feel the heat radiating from my centre. As a result of my workouts, I was able to run more efficiently and with a better posture.

During days two and three, I recognised the drawbacks of such challenges, namely that repeatedly working the same muscles may not be the best strategy for long-term improvements. I could feel the dead bugs in my core from the first exercise, and it was a battle to maintain my form right and avoid arching my back to make the action more comfortable. To get the most out of dead bugs, I discovered that the key is to move as slowly as possible. In the morning before my run or exercise, I would do 50 dead bugs, and in the evening before a moderate dog walk, I would do another 50.

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Even though I’d only been doing this for four days, I could already tell that my core had been working overtime. Your ab muscles will not be defined by dead bugs or sit-ups until your body fat percentage is low enough (here is how to determine your body fat %). Despite the fact that my abs seemed a little more defined, 400 killed bugs has not given me the six-pack I’ve always wanted.

By the fifth and sixth days, I had gained enough self-confidence to add light dumbbells to the exercise. With each hand holding a 1.5kg weight, my arms felt more taxed, and I was forced to use more of my core during each rep. In order to finish strong, I threw on some ankle weights for the last 100 repetitions on day seven.

Is this what you came up with? Aside from feeling stronger in my core after slaying 700 bugs, I also noticed that my arms and legs had had a workout. By the end of the week, I could tell that my core had been working hard and that my running had improved as a result. Even though I had lower back problems from a horse-riding injury as a child, I was able to do the litte bit of exercise since dead bugs placed less strain on my back than, say, sit-ups or a plank.

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